The Whales are Returning to Kiev

For Ireland’s national poetry day, here’s a poem from a couple of years back with a Ukraine theme. It was from that moment in lockdown when everyone was cooing about nature returning. The first three or so stanzas – all of those things did actually happen.

It imagines not only a world without Ukraine but a world without us. And that’s where we’re headed if we can’t find a way to get past war. Not just this one, but all war.

On that cheery note, as promised here are some whales overhead, courtesy of Kiev’s Maxim Garifullin:

The Whales Are Returning to Kiev

The wolves returned to Pripyat

Once all the people had fled.

Now sheep stroll the streets in Atakum

And goats gambol through Llandudno.

Kangaroos colonise Adelaide,

And deer graze on the lawns of East London.

Fish and dolphins have fled back to Venice,

Peacocks strut proudly through New Delhi,

A puma prowled around Santiago,

And alligators crawl inside shopping malls.

Wild boar root for food in Ajaccio,

Monkeys fight on the road in Lompuri,

The coyotes now run San Francisco,

And a sealion was spotted in Buenos Aires.

The whales are returning to Kiev.

Herds of unicorn gallop through Paris.

Angels can be seen on the streets of Berlin.

And none of them miss us at all.